Swallow us - Karmen Ayvazyan

Swallow us

The concept of identity is often seen as a constant and unique value of the individual. But when looking closer, how do life experiences have an impact on who we are and the way we are shaped as beings? Where does that leave us when certainties in life are being questioned?   

At what seems like a turning point in her life, Karmen Ayvazyan looks back on what has been, questioning the mere state of ‘being’ an artist and its identity. In doing so, she critically looks at her own oeuvre and reforms visual materials giving it new, sometimes fundamentally different contexts. By extracting colour and adding softness, former pictures are given a touch of melancholy.  

In a society where previously fixed values and rituals no longer seem to offer any support, Ayvazyan uses multiple art media to process personal events in her life. Photography, paint and canvas offer a raw and vulnerable perspective on emotions of a human being in transition.

‘Swallow us’ is an ode to tearing down in order to build back up. To getting lost and then find oneself. To being swallowed, but yet, being able to emerge again.

18 JULI ╱ 09 SEPT 2022
Vernissage 18.07 at 19:00

Karmen Ayvazyan

In 2015 Karmen Ayvazyan graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. Since then, she's been working as a freelance photographer in Belgium and abroad.

Her work has been published in several magazines and newspapers such as De Standaard Magazine, Knack Weekend and De Morgen.  

Although Ayvazyan's commissioned work mainly involves portrait and fashion photography, she implements a more diverse and experimental style to her personal work.

In doing so, she brings together different artistic media where photography, painting and video art seamlessly merge together.

Next to music, everyday encounters with people, objects and places are the main sources of inspiration for Ayvazyan's captivating images. There is a dark, romantic side to Ayvazyan's work. The duality between cruelty and compassion, between beauty and ugliness generates a certain tension.

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